A married queer couple who face murder charges over the death of a 23-year-old woman have cut off their ankle monitors and fled while they were free on bond.
Court documents filed last week said that 50-year-old Nina Marano and her 58-year-old wife, Lisa Dykes, removed their GPS trackers within moments of each other on Christmas Day and skipped their $500,000 bonds, according to TV station WFAA.
The two were charged in the fatal stabbing of 23-year-old Marisela Botello-Valadez in Dallas back in October 2020.
“It’s definitely not been easy — that’s for sure,” the victim’s aunt, Dennesly Castillo, told the station. “It’s completely frustrating — we were expecting this after they posted bond, and here we are now.”
Botello-Valadez, from Seattle, was in Dallas to see her ex-boyfriend. She was last seen at a bar with Charles Beltran, 32, before going missing. Her remains were found six months later.
Beltran, who shared a house with Marano and Dykes, was also charged with murder.
An arrest affidavit states, “A search of Beltran’s and Dyke’s residence revealed that the carpet had been cleaned, but streaks of brown and red color, the appearance of blood, were underneath the carpet,” according to station KDFW.
The blood found matched Botello-Valadez’s.
The married couple has not responded to calls, texts, or emails from officers. New warrants are now out for their arrests.
Police documents showed Marano and Dykes had “shown a pattern of avoidance,” having been arrested in Florida after being under investigation for Botello-Valadez’s death.
“Until we have them back in custody and they are finally given a sentence, I don’t think there’s going to be any closure for us,” Castillo told KDFW. “Because we needed to find answers.”
"They got to spend the holidays together, I assume, in the comfort of their house instead of being locked away," she told WFAA. "We don't have that option. We don't have the option to ever be able to sit there with Marisela again and celebrate or be out and about."
She also wants to know why it took so long for Dallas authorities to be notified the pair had fled. It wasn’t until January 4 that Dallas County got the call, which means they had a 10-day head start.
“I would really like some sort of explanation,” Castillo said. “If they had posted that they were missing sooner, they may have been able to find them.”